Tags: z:pending:18th:pimpernel


in love with a dress


I am in love!!


Thanks sakka for the link to her blog.

I've been really drawn to this shape of "zone" front lately but this is truly a stunning reproduction of it. She has the proportions just right. So now I'm wondering if I could alter my Pimpernel to this shape or if it would even be worth the effort since I don't have a contrasting stomacher/petticoat. I'm also liking the buttons. Miss-I-loath-doing-buttonholes. Weird.

*ponders possibilities*

odds & ends

Yeeeeessssss! I just found an extra piece of pink taffeta! So I should have enough to re-cut the back of the pink pimpernel dress now. I couldn't find this last skirt panel (from the old Cynthia dress) and was getting worried that I would have to scrap the whole outfit. Whew!

Also while searching for something unrelated I stumbled across another picture of the original court train my Pearl Dress motif is from:

Interesting... The motif looks so large – I’m used to my scaled down version now!

I think I've also discovered why these court trains became a separate piece, besides an excuse to use a luxurious velvet or a splendid watered taffeta as in this case. As full as the back of my gown is, the train still looks a little chintzy. I don't know that I could have gathered up my fabric at the waist much more let alone doubled to get a nice full train like the purple one.

Ummm... perhaps I should add an embroidered velvet train to my frock one day. Because I’m not putting in enough hours on it as is of course. *rolls eyes

a fit of sickness

I'm sick again. Another pesky head cold. I'm not really surprised, with all the craziness, stress and not eating well of the last few days of my trip plus the jet-lag coming home. It's pretty typical for me to get sick after that sort of thing. So I'm back to having a tissue box by my side and popping vitamin C tablets. Just as well you weren't able to come I guess elizabethdress. *pouts*

My body clock is still way off, which is annoying. In a fit of not being able to sleep but being too tired to do anything productive with the Redingote I completely took apart my Pink Pimpernel dress last night. This was a very last minute dress for Costume College last year and while I had great fun wearing it I wasn’t really happy with the fit.

Really, I wasn’t happy with it at all until I tweaked it a bit for the Stratford Hall event in December. I shortened the sleeves (just tacked them up), polonaise the skirt and added color in the form of aquamarine bows and jewelry. Suddenly I LIKED the dress and wanted to wear it again. That's when I decided to ditch the original Scarlet Pimpernel design and create a more generic 1780s ballgown from the ashes. I thought about just making my tweaks permanent but then I thought about all the other things that bugged me about the construction and thought, why not start from scratch and fix everything? So I picked the whole thing apart.

In the light of day I'm wondering if that was a clever decision or not but it's done now and I think I'll be happier in the end for it. At least I hope so.

Yes I really am insane.

not enough hours in the day...

I know I've said it before but I will say it again - there is just not enough time to sew everything I have on my list. Lately there hasn’t been enough time in the day to get everything done. It must me December... :P

Our second night at Stratford went well and once again I had a lovely time. I decided to be different and wear the Pimpernel. I paired it with my turquoise necklace and matching bows at the neck and sleeves (pinched from the pet en l'air).

I really don't know what to do with this dress. I love to wear it but I hate the way it looks in pics. It needs some major work, particularly the fit and the sleeves, before I'll be pleased with it. I think I'm just going to throw the original design from the Scarlet Pimpernel musical to the wind and remake the dress as a mid 1780s dancing dress. For Stratford I unpicked the sleeves almost halfway, rolled them underneath and basted in place (sewing through 8 layers of taffeta was FUN - not!). I think I'll just cut them off and if I have enough extra fabric do a ruched elbow trim. The fit of the bodice also needs work, particularly the back. I'm thinking about taking off the "zone" front flaps too... I think they make the bodice look poorly fitted and you don't really notice anyway.

It's needs some trim of course, although I think I'll keep that to a minimum. I don't have much extra fabric so maybe some organdy or lace trim. There are some pretty lace trimmed gowns in the Met. Oh or black velvet ribbon... umm...

Maybe I'll make this my Christmas week project. Then again I have the bustle bodice, the mini tricorn, the 1840s Poe dress, the Pearl Dress and the secret frock to work on already...

See - too many projects not enough time!

PS - My hair came out well again - yay! I think next time I wear this I need more height and some powder though. No point in being conservative with a screaming fuchsia pink dress, ya know?

pimpernel & petticoat posted!

My body clock is super messed up right now so I've decided to make it a full 2 week vacation and not worry about real life (more than I can help) until Wednesday. In the meantime I've been trying to get over the fuzzy-brain-jet-lag-thing by catching up on my friend's pages, un-packing and updating my very neglected website.

First up is the Pimpernel dress, which I apparently didn't even start a page for. It was a bit last minute of course. Anyway the page is up here, the gallery (thanks to all for sharing your pics) here. Still need to make the fonts pretty but other than that the pages are presentable...

Also posted is the series of pics I took for jennil on how to make a petticoat. Turned out to be more of how to pleat, sorry about that. Not sure if it will be any help but there you are. I seem to have lost the pics of the hemming part so I'll have to re-create that for ya, with the first bit is there for now. Petticoat by Jenny-Rose!"

In other news I'm now declaring the pimpernel finished for the time being. I had every intention of doing the orange shark-tooth trim but haven't been able to find the exact shade silk taffeta I want. There are also several things that need work on the frock as well. The lining peeks through the center front, somehow both the sleeves and the front skirt panels ended up too short. I'm also not thrilled with the fit that I see in the pics but that is my perfectionist side rearing it's ugly head.

All can be fixed with piecing and/or fitting but without an event to motivate me I really don't care at the moment. Maybe someday when there is a point to the hassle...

CC pics & bad news

The good news:
My CC07 pics are online here! Hopefully that link will work... Got it down to 358 pics. Those to whom I have promised a CD will find a few more on that, mostly posed shots of themselves. :> Feel free to save, post on your site, print out, whatever. If you need a larger copy of something just let me know.

The bad news:
Both the RCHS Fall Tea and RCHS Ball have been canceled. I'm so bummed.

in which I finish the cutting bit

Yay! The pimpernel is all cut out. *whew* Turned out to be closer than I though it would be, fabric wise. I had to take apart the Cynthia gown after all, or rather Mom did. I was having a hard time bringing myself to take it apart so when she volunteered I let her. :> Even then the only way it fit was thanks to a largest scrap I dug out of the scrap bin. As it is I may have to piece part of the hem - not sure if the side skirt panels will be quite long enough. *crosses*

For the lining of the zone piece I pulled out some pretty cranberry duchess satin from the stash. It should just show under the little zone flap. If I can't find a fabulous orange in LA I may just use this for the shark tooth trim. Less contrast but a pretty effect. The rest of the lining will be the light pink stripe. I cut the rest of the stripe into pieces for a new under petticoat. There was just enough for a ruffle too. I think the pimpernel in particular will look better with a ruffle petticoat underneath and a second under petticoat will come in handy I'm thinking. I've had that fabric forever, it's nice to get it off the shelf.

Now I'm off to dance to say hi (forgot myself sewing to make class but I'll be in time for coffee) and then off to Walmart to pick up the Harry Potter book I'm not going to read tonight. :>

fiting, triming and hemming

I finished toileing the pimpernel yesterday, sleeve and all. I'm not 100% thrilled with the sleeve but it will work and I'm not in the mood to mess with it further. It's a sleeve after all. :>

Not that you can see from the pic but I cut the back into 3 curved seams. It's quite pretty, hope it shows up in the taffeta. I trimmed the back point a bit after taking the pic, so it's even prettier now. I took more pics but they were all un-flattering to myself or the frock so you'll just have to wait to see more. I really love this look - it's so stylish and flattering. I really need to do more 1790s/zone-front type things.

My testing of the orange fabric isn't going well so I've decided to wait on the shark tooth trim and see what I can find while I'm in LA. I'd really like some changeable taffeta. For now I think the application of black velvet trim to accent the zone will be enough. I just found out that for the first year my MK retreat and the RCHS ball are on different weekends so I get to go to the ball this year! *does happy dance* So I'm thinking the pimpernel should be my ball gown this year, although wearing the Bee is tempting. :>

Last night after picking apart the pimpernel toile and make note of the changes, I wasn’t feeling alert enough to cut out fabric so I worked on the hem to the chemise gown. It took forever (all those panels!) but it's done now - yay! I also cut out an extra sleeve toile so I can work on the chemise gown sleeves. I decided to go with the long straight sleeve after all. Easier and probably more flattering... we shall see. :>
costume bother

in the state of denial

I was supposed to go site-seeing with Bridget in DC yesterday (our last fling before she moves) but thanks to a wonky stomach and a headache I stayed home and sewed instead. I got the pimpernel toile apart and cut out version two. Not terribly exciting but progress.

In Fire news, we have wiped out AC Moore of red bugles (again) and it will be two weeks before they get more in. Did you know Michaels and Wal-mart don't carry red bugles? Other colors but not red. So I have two more places in town to try and then I'm not sure what. Order them online I guess and hope they get here in time. Moo!

I did find the perfect belt for the Fire at Kohls though. It wasn’t quite big enough so I bought two (they were on sale). I'll have to do a bit of chain linking to do but no more painting and gluing. Yay.

I leave for Dallas in 6 days. I am in SO much denial about how much I have left to sew for CC, it just isn't even funny.